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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

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New to Medicare? Start here.

Find out if you’re eligible for Medicare and start planning.

Determining your Medicare eligibility 

Whether you’re planning for yourself or a loved one, navigating Medicare can feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to go it alone. Here’s everything you need to know about Medicare eligibility and timelines. 

Still have questions? Download our free Medicare Roadmap to guide you as you plan.

How old do you have to be to get Medicare?

To sign up for Medicare, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be age 65 or older
  • Be a legal resident living in the U.S. for at least 5 consecutive years 

If under 65, you can also qualify for Medicare if:

  • You've been collecting Social Security disability for 24 consecutive months (your eligibility begins the first day of the 25th month)
  • You have end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant)
  • You have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease

When can you apply for Medicare?

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Age 64: Now’s the time to get to know the different parts of Medicare and what plan options are available. Keep track of your healthcare needs (e.g., doctors, prescriptions).

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Age 64: Age 64 and 9 months: It’s time to enroll! You can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B (and even choose a Medicare Advantage plan) starting 3 months before your 65th birthday.

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Age 65: Once enrolled, you’ll be able to start receiving your Medicare benefits. If you haven’t enrolled, you have 3 months left.

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Age 65 and 3 months: If you don’t enroll by the end of this month, you may have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period, which starts on Oct. 15.

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Beyond age 65 and 3 months: Current Medicare plan not meeting your needs? You can switch to a different plan every year during the Annual Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7).

Situations that affect Medicare eligibility

Various scenarios can impact your Medicare eligibility and enrollment timeline, including:

  • Working past 65 and having employer-provided health coverage
  • Having a qualifying life event like moving out of your current plan’s service area
  • Changing your current Medicare plan after enrollment

Understanding how these situations affect your eligibility will help you make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. Select the scenario that best fits you below to learn more.

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Learn more about Medicare

Find more resources as you start your Medicare journey.

How to sign up for Medicare

Enrollment for Original Medicare is handled by the Social Security Administration. 

To make the most of your benefits, consider signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Medicare Part C. These plans cover added expenses that Original Medicare does not. These can include:

  • Eyeglasses and eye exams
  • Hearing aids
  • Dentist visits
  • Prescription drugs

Ready to find the right coverage for you? Our team of Medicare advisors is here to help you plan, shop and sign up with confidence. 

Connect with an advisor by:

For accommodations of persons with special needs at meetings, call 855-388-8394 (TTY: 711).

Helping a loved one enroll in Medicare or Medicare Advantage

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You don’t have to plan alone. Call us today. 


Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal.


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